Monday, February 20, 2017

CAROLINE - Sue Barr - One Free Print or Ebook

Welcome to my blog, Sue. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Not too much, you can only have so much snark in your life … The biggest by-product of my psyche that crowds into my books is found in the dialogue. I have a fast repartee with those who know me well.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hubby and I were having coffee with a friend in the local Tim Horton’s (all Canadians just cheered at that name), and we’d been there for over two hours. I was ready to leave – they were not. I told DH if we didn’t go, as in now, I would stand up and sing. He didn’t and I did. I sang “When I’m Calling You” as it was sung by Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald. Google and listen, wait for the chorus. You’ll know why we left immediately after that.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I haven’t. I’ve written all my life, just not with purpose. I sold my first book in 2010 and still don’t feel like a writer. Any day now someone is going to cry “Fraud” and point at me.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Do you have all day? The list is long and varied. I read contemporary romance, women’s fiction, young adult, science fiction, historical romance, Christian fiction, Christian historical romance, biographies, devotionals, Christian non-fiction, bubble-gum wrappers, and cereal boxes. The last bit was to see if you actually read all the answer. The most important book I read is comprised of 66 books in total, and that is God’s word. I read exceptionally fast and can read five books or more a day, if life doesn’t intrude. Pesky life.

I’m a fast reader naturally, too. I’ve had to train myself to take it slow with the Bible. I don’t want to miss even one morsel of what God wants to tell me through His word that day. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
We place too much value on things and being busy. My priorities are this: God, husband, family, friends, and then the other “stuff,” which includes writing.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I’ve never thought about that. Usually when I start to write their names just come to me. I’ve changed some names, especially as I get into the story and the name doesn’t seem right. My first book’s heroine was called Rowena. I desperately wanted someone to call her “Ro” and have her think of salmon swimming upstream, but the name didn’t fit. She became Shelby. Much better.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My family. My sons and their spouses are content and happy. We have great grandkids who love us to pieces, and I really, really, really like my hubby. We’ll be celebrating out 34th anniversary next year, and he still makes my heart go pit-a-pat.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be one of our cats. Seriously, they’ve got it made!

What is your favorite food?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Procrastination. I’d love to stop, but I keep putting it off….

Okay, okay, let’s get serious here. I work to create action around all my witty dialogue. Once my book is written I go back and add much needed dialogue beats. Things that will anchor the reader in the story and not be so much of a tennis match of he said, she said.

That sounds like part of my teaching on “Layering Pizzazz.” Tell us about the featured book.
Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and unrequited love interest married a Bennet sister? Join me in this story of redemptive love and the healing of broken dreams.

Caroline Bingley, beyond frustrated with her brother, Charles, and Mr. Darcy both proposing to the Bennet sisters, dreads their upcoming nuptials. For three years, her sole focus has been on attaining a marriage proposal from one Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, only to be foiled by a country miss with “fine eyes.”  Adrift and not sure of her place in life, she meets the mysterious and devastatingly handsome Lord Nathan, who equally vexes and intrigues her.

Lord Nathan Kerr, third in line to a Dukedom, had a well-earned reputation as a Rake. He cast all that and his noble title aside to become Mr. Darcy’s vicar in Kympton, finding contentment in leading his small flock and doing the Lord’s work. His plan for a quiet country life is thrown into upheaval when he meets the fiery Miss Bingley. Can he reconcile his rising desire for the spoiled miss with how a vicar’s wife “should” behave?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Caroline Bingley descended the grand staircase and proceeded toward the breakfast room, barely acknowledging the footman who efficiently pulled a chair away from the table. With a soft swish of silk, she settled on the seat. When the second footman poured her tea, she deigned to give him a slight nod of approval, but that was because she was in a fine mood.

She noted through the window overlooking her sister’s favorite garden that it was a beautiful fall morning, the leaves of the oak trees a riotous flame of red and orange. October was just around the corner and her good mood, which had been in evidence since late August, showed no sign of wavering. She’d even gone to church the day prior for mass and enjoyed the hymns, although the bishop nearly bored her to tears.

As she fussed with her morning meal, she mentally ticked off plans she and Charles had for the upcoming week. There were papers to sign, by Charles, with their lawyer to quit the lease at Netherfield Park, and she had a fitting with Madam Beaufort before the much anticipated Annual Michaelmas Ball at Lady Addleworth’s mansion.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy was sure to attend the ball. He and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, arrived in Town the other day and spent an inordinate amount of time with Charles. She only hoped it was because Charles finally decided to pursue an arrangement with Georgiana and as her guardians, Darcy and the good Colonel would finalize the articles of marriage as well as details of the dowry. With luck they would announce the engagement before the ball and with his shy little sister taken care of, Mr. Darcy could concentrate on his own happiness.

At last Charles was safe from Miss Jane Bennet, although he’d been reminded of her when they had the misfortune of running into her sister Elizabeth while at Pemberley in early August. For a few days she’d worried Darcy might continue to grow in affection for the well-tanned miss with muddy hems and ‘fine eyes’, but fortunately she exited Derbyshire rather abruptly the very next day. Caroline didn’t need the ever present Miss Bennet to ruin her plans for Charles and Georgiana as well as those for herself. After three long years of careful planning, she would not be denied her future by a girl of little consequence.

She longed to be Mistress of Pemberley. To have others look to her for guidance, to run the household the way it should. First order of business would be to dismiss Mrs. Reynolds. The housekeeper was by far too smug and too familiar with Mr. Darcy. Why, she let anyone who knocked on the door run amok within the house and on the grounds. Such behavior would be stopped the minute she and Mr. Darcy exchanged their vows. Pemberley needed a strong hand to run efficiently and she had the fortitude to make it happen.

She bit into a light-as-air croissant and sighed. This was her only indulgence, otherwise the dress Madame Beaufort designed would never fit and she needed to look spectacular the night of the ball. Darcy would propose before night’s end or her name wasn’t Caroline Anastasia Bingley.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Sue, for sharing this book with us. It looks like a fun read.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Caroline (Pride & Prejudice continued...) (Volume 1) - Paperback
CAROLINE (Pride & Prejudice continued... Book 1) - Kindle

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Abigail Mitchell said...

This looks soooo good! I love P&P!!! So, which is your favorite version? Mine is the one with Colin Firth. I think because the one with Kiera Knightly was so much shorter, it seemed empty to me.
If I win, I would like a paperback copy, since I don't read ebooks. :)
Can't wait to read this!
God bless.

Sue Barr said...

I've watched every version, even the *shudder* 1940 version where they wore dresses and bonnets more suited to a Civil War time period. What WAS Sir Laurence Olivier thinking? However, my all time favorite version was 'Lost in Austen', a variation of P&P. In this delightful rendition, ALL the high points of the novel are met, just not in the way we expect. It was so diverting. Other than that, ODB Colin holds my heart and I've almost worn out the DVD.

Claudine Pepe said...

Lovely interview post! Thank you for sharing, ladies.

Elly said...

I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen. (I'm watching an Austen movie right now, actually!)
Elly -Indiana-

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a good one and what a great cover!

Melanie Backus, TX

Caryl Kane said...

I love Jane Austen! This one sounds awesome.

Caryl K in TX

rubynreba said...

I always enjoyed Jane Austen and know I would enjoy this too!
Beth from IA

Abigail Mitchell said...

I have seen the 1940 version too. That was the first version I saw. Don't remember to much about it, other than Greer Garson playing Elizabeth Bennett. :)

Sue Barr said...

Think of hoop skirts, puffy sleeves and huge bonnets. 'Nuff said.

Connie said...

I absolutely love the cover!!
Connie from KY

Sue Barr said...

I have to admit, I love it too. One lovely reader stated this is how she will always see Caroline, no matter which P&P variation she reads. My cover was designed by Theresa, who's website is The Midnight Muse.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me for the print copy!!
Conway SC.